If it hadn’t grasped it before, the Washington press corps is now on notice that President Donald Trump’s press briefing room is not going to be run the same way Obama’s was, and no one had a worse reaction than the Associated Press when it found another media outlet being picked first in this week’s pressers.
In the past, the 170-year-old news wire service was the first to be called at every press conference in the White House briefing room. But during his January 23 press conference, Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer called on a reporter from The New York Post instead.
If that didn’t spin the AP up, the January 24 presser did when Spicer gave his first question to conservative website LifeZette.com, a site founded by conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham.
The AP was so upset that after the press conference, it posted a story about LifeZette.com that contained several errors.
For instance, in its rush to attack LifeZette, the AP incorrectly spelled the name of the LifeZette reporter who attended the presser. Initially the AP spelled reporter Jim Stinson’s name as “Stenson.” It later changed the spelling without notice.
The AP also took out of context some of the things LifeZette has posted in the past. For instance, the wire service reported as “news” that the site posted a “conspiracy theory” about the Clintons.
“Last year, LifeZette released a video, ‘Clinton Body Count,’ that promoted a conspiracy theory that Hillary and Bill Clinton had ties to the deaths of several colleagues and Democrats,” the story read.
But according to LifeZette, the video in question was satire that wasn’t supposed to be taken as “news.”
“The video was made in jest, and merely noted that the theories existed,” the site insisted in reply to the AP.
The AP also failed to reveal in its story that it had traditionally been afforded the press secretary’s first question to give readers perspective on why it was writing a story attacking LifeZette.
Finally, LifeZette noted that the AP never contacted them for a comment on their story after the January 24 presser.
In its own story on the AP’s attack, LifeZette noted that the wire service said only that it “stands by its reporting,” even as it made unrevealed edits to its story.
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